Footage recorded in space of the New York 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre is to be shown in its entirety for the very first time as part of Channel 4’s Live From Space season.
The video – which features a giant plume of smoke emerging from the Twin Towers – was filmed from the International Space Station (ISS) and captured by astronaut Frank Culbertson, who later discovered his friend, Chic Burlingame, was one of the pilots killed when his airliner was hijacked by terrorists.
The film, which will be shown as part of the documentary Astronauts: Houston We Have A Problem, also features Culbertson playing the Taps bugle call, signalling the end of the day for US military personnel, in tribute to Burlingame.
Short clips cut from the footage were released by NASA to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks but the British broadcast will mark the first time the film has been shown in its entirety, with Culberton’s commentary and bugle call. “Not every frame has been seen before, so every frame that was shot on that day is in the show,” confirmed the project’s creative director, Tom Brisley.
Beginning next week, Channel 4’s Space season will feature a series of documentaries about astronauts, including Astronauts: Living In Space, which will show what it’s like to inhabit space for months at a time through the eyes of astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Koichi Wakata, Mike Hopkins and their families.
The season will culminate in a two-and-a-half hour broadcast live from Mission Control in Houston and the ISS as they complete an entire orbit of Earth. Presented by Dermot O’Leary, with contributions from Professor Stephen Hawking and British astronaut Tim Peake, viewers will be taken around the world with visual shots from 250 miles above earth.